FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — Goodyear will invest more than $17.7 million in its Kelly-Springfield Tire Co. plant in Fayetteville this year to upgrade the facility and add larger tires to its line.
The modernization project tentatively is slated for completion by year-end, a Goodyear spokeswoman said.
She said the investment will help improve the tire factory's competitive position and meet consumer demand for premium and high performance tires.
“These improvements allow the plant to adapt its operations to meet market demands for premium products such as 20-inch tires and high-performance tires,” according to Jim Konneker, plant manager at Fayetteville.
As consumer demand trends toward larger diameter tires, the investment will allow the Fayetteville plant to produce bigger tires not only for the Kelly-Springfield brand but also for its custom brand accounts, Mr. Konneker said.
The Fayetteville plant opened in 1969 and makes Kelly, Goodyear and private brand radial passenger and light truck tires for the consumer market at a pace of about 64,000 units a day.
The company did not say if there would be a cutback in the number of smaller tires produced once the larger offerings are added to the mix.
Konneker noted that the capital investment will not create new jobs at the factory, increase the size of the facility or boost daily capacity. Goodyear employs about 2,650 at the 2 million-sq.-ft. plant, one of the company's largest.
Goodyear's board of directors approved the capital investment plan in the first quarter of 2004, the spokeswoman said.
This is the second Kelly plant upgrade Goodyear has launched since April, when the firm completed an agreement on a tax abatement plan that will result in the company expanding tire-making capabilities at its Kelly plant in Tyler, Texas.